This is Claudette Colvin. A 15-year-old girl who refused to give up her seat to a white person during the Jim Crow segregation era.
She did that nine months before Rosa Parks did.
But the civil rights leaders decided to run Claudette out of town, because the was too dark, too poor, and too pregnant to fit into their narrative.
Claudette was was impregnated by a grown-ass-married man who probably raped her. She received no compassion, no empathy, no understanding. Rosa Parks was a better fit because she was light-skinned.
The more things change, the more they stay the same.
Reading our Pros and Cons reading group book, Don’t Bring Home a White Boy, I discovered this information as author Karyn Folan discusses how black women have been conditioned to see the evil in white folks but ignore or dismiss the evil within our own communities. This is just one example.
…she was considered “too dark” to represent the civil right movement, too “feisty,” too poor. During the legal challenge hat followed her impulsive refusal to comply with Jim Crow law, she also discover she was pregnant. The father? A married black man who, some sources day, raped Colvin, then lied about it. Instead of becoming the voice of the bus boycott, Colvin was shunned, was expelled from school and ultimately had to leave Montgomery just to find work. She is also well aware why Rosa got the shine and she didn’t. “Her skin texture was the kind that people associate with the middle class,” says Colvin. “She fit that profile.”
She was a child. And the leaders of the Civil Rights movement snatched the crown that was rightfully hers and gave it to a light skinned woman that, from that day forward, became the female face of civil disobedience. Rosa Parks didn’t need to work another day once she was lionized, and the founder of Little Caesars quietly paid her rent until she died.
Who was there to help dark-skinned, raped and exploited Claudette? What community utterly turned their backs on her, threw her out of school, and ran her out of town? Did whitey do that?!
The irony is, it was Claudette’s case, Browder v. Gayle, that won the fight to overturn desegregated public transportation. That fact that these did-you-know stories exist is proof that Claudette’s plight was deliberately hidden from us because of our own disgusting treatment of dark skinned girls and women.
But it’s this same community that shuns, rejects, shames and abuses that also pours on the guilt when we entertain the possibility to interracial relationships with white men. It’s this community that calls us sell-outs, coons, and traitors to the race. And to even mention this FACT is to be called a black-man hater.
How much has changed since this 15 year old girl was raped by a grown married man who faced no consequences for his pedophilia? How’s R Kelly doing these days?
I don’t bring up this issue to solely enrage you for the injustice of it all, but to challenge some of the brain washing you’ve probably received that keeps you from fully expanding your dating options. It’s the reason I created the Pros and Cons Series in the first place.
Be angry. Yell. Scream. Cry. Then get savvy about your dating choices, and stop allowing a PR ply meant to keep you hating white men rule your life. You vet. You make the decisions, without kowtowing to a group of people who with throw you under the bus for a woman who looked less blacker than you.
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